South Burlington voters approved a school budget of $ 55.6 million Tuesday, in addition to several other measures designed to raise funds for the city’s schools and streets.
The budget was approved without any problems, 3,145 to 2,764 – despite considerable difficulties in approving a school budget in recent years.
Last year on Town Meeting Day, voters in South Burlington did declined A $ 209 million plan to build a massive new complex that will include a middle school, high school, and sports center. At the same time, they also cut a proposed school budget of $ 55.8 million. Voters again in May 2020 declined a smaller proposed budget of $ 53.7 million – and with an even greater margin of maneuver than in the original vote.
Finally in August the voters approved a spending plan of $ 52.5 million with a vote of approximately 3,900 to 3,400 votes. To achieve this plan, school officials said They had to cut everything from athletics to advanced internship classes, in addition to a salary freeze for non-union workers and a hiring freeze for new teachers.
The $ 55.6 million budget approved this year is $ 16,852 per student – 4.31% more than current year spending.
Two additional voting questions on school financing were also answered without any problems on Tuesday.
The first, asking voters to approve an additional $ 2.5 million to replace the school’s roof and carry out related construction, went from 3,464 to 2,360. The second claim for a surplus from the 2021 financial year for “unexpected, non-reimbursable expenses” in the 2022 financial year due to the Covid-19 pandemic went from 4,525 to 1,345.
Voters on Tuesday also approved a city budget of $ 50.7 million, from 3,770 to 2,092. The city also voted 3,847 to 1,988 votes to approve a $ 4 million budget allocation for a number of highway improvement projects.
The money would finance the engineering and construction of the Garden Street project between Dorset Street and Williston Road, as well as modernization of the intersections on White Street and Midas Drive, and Hinesburg Road and Patchen Road.
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In addition, incumbent Matt Cota, with around 2,900 votes, beat out challenger David Kaufman, who received 2,600 votes, for the open seat on the city council, and the two open seats on the school board were filled by Travia Childs (two-year tenure) and Rebecca Day ( three-year tenure) after the roles of Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Martin LaLonde respectively were vacated.
The turnout was roughly at the level of the officials’ expectations – with 6,005 voters, almost 39%.
Officials from South Burlington said they typically see a turnout of around 5,000 on Town Meeting Day – out of the city’s 14,000 active voters. In the presidential election in November that number rose to around 12,000.
City clerk Donna Kinville called it a “good number for a city get-together.”
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